Caring For Mom At Home
From rocking chair snuggles to grown-up decisions, making the shift from child to caregiver is a big adjustment for most adults. Whether you’re prepping for this season of transition for your aging mother or you’re currently in the caregiver role, there are important living arrangements and safety needs to consider for your mom as she begins to rely on you more. Here are some at-home modifications to think through—either for your home or your mother’s—along with resources for community living alternatives if you decide to go that route.
You want to make sure your loved one can get from one room to another without the threat of falling. Stairs are a big part of that. Ask yourself the following:
- Does the staircase have railings on one or both sides?
- Are the stair treads wide enough for your foot to rest on?
- Is there room to install a ramp if that becomes necessary?
- Are there accessible light switches at the base and top of the stairs and entryways?
Slipping is another major concern for individuals as they age. Go through the home and check for:
- Any slippery surfaces or dangerous tiles throughout the house.
- Any rugs that someone could trip on.
- Loose carpeting or cords on the floor.
Keep points of entry easily accessible. Make sure:
- Doorway openings are big enough for a wheelchair or walker if need be.
- There are door handles instead of knobs.
- Doors have easy-to-use locks.
Stepping stools or shower replacements are common fixes that must be made for individuals as they age. Ask yourself:
- Is the shower accessible?
- Is there a hand-held shower head?
- Are there grips or handles in the shower or next to the toilet?
Outlets and switches
Reaching for lights or phones can become increasingly more difficult the older your mother gets. Make sure:
- Switches can be used without strain.
- A telephone is easily accessible—this may mean placing several throughout the house.
- Outlets are protected and there are no loose cords that someone can trip on.
Another alternative—aside from acting as an in-home caregiver—is to select an assisted living arrangement. There are a variety of options in the area—from limited assistance to full-time assistance—depending on your loved one’s needs. The Greater Lewes Community Village is a great local spot to check out if you’re considering this option.
Whatever your caretaker role looks like or however ready or “not ready” your house is, make sure to allow yourself time to adjust to this transition. Remember that having a strong support system is equally as important for your wellbeing during this season, too.